As part of 2006’s festival, celebrated media artist and game designer Toshio Iwai worked with Futuresonic on the worldwide launch of the TENORI-ON.

The TENORI-ON was a musical instrument-cum-artwork, simultaneously a beautiful design object and interactive audiovisual device. The 16×16 matrix of LED switches allows everyone to play music intuitively, creating a “visible music” interface.

TENORI-ON spring from the uniquely Japanese phenomenon in the 2000’s which was ‘device art’ – design objects that are both artwork and commercial product. Iwai and Yamaha worked with Futuresonic on a spectacular live event as part of the 2006 Futuresonic festival. The success of this led on to the worldwide launch of the product in London and Manchester in association with Futuresonic.

TENORI-ON was exhibited as part of Instrument, an exhibition of artist-made instruments, noise generators, audio-visual manipulators, and recordings. Featuring leading sound artists, experimental composers, noise-makers and other audio creators from the UK, Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, Japan, and the USA, each exploring what we understand to be an instrument. A mix of high tech and low tech – live installations, concert performances, and abstract busking. Curated by Colin Fallows and Drew Hemment, Instrument featured an exhibition at Museum of Science and Industry Manchester plus live performances.